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PRP: Stimulating hair growth with plasma injections in the scalp
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a relatively new treatment that doctors are using for hair loss. A PRP treatment is said to accelerate tissue repair and thus promote new hair growth, although the scientific evidence for this treatment is still quite limited.
Also read: Why is your hair thinning and what can you do?
What is PRP?
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PRP therapy for hair loss is a medical treatment that involves taking blood from a person, processing it and then injecting it into the scalp. PRP injectables are said to initiate and maintain natural hair growth by increasing blood flow to the hair follicle and increasing the thickness of the hair shaft.
Doctors usually use this treatment when hair loss is due to androgenetic alopecia, a common condition in which hair follicles shrink. In men this is called male pattern baldness.
Researchers have found evidence that PRP can lead to hair regrowth. But these studies had limitations as they involved small sample sizes. There is also a large variation in technique and protocol between doctors. Further research is therefore needed to confirm whether PRP is effective.
Also read: What can you do against hair loss?
PRP: the treatment
First, the doctor takes blood, usually from your arm, and then places it in a centrifuge (a machine that spins quickly to separate fluids of different densities).
After about ten minutes in the centrifuge, your blood is separated into three layers: platelet-poor plasma, platelet-rich plasma and red blood cells.
The doctor draws the platelet-rich plasma into a syringe and injects it into the desired areas of the scalp.
Also read: What causes hair loss in women and what can you do about it?
Risks and side effects
Because the PRP injections consist of your own blood components, there is little risk of a reaction to the solution itself. However, you may experience the following side effects:
- Mild pain at the injection site
- Scalp sensitivity
- Temporary bleeding at the injection site
Also read: Hair loss (alopecia): types, causes and treatment
It is recommended to start with a course of three treatments with four to six weeks between each treatment. To maintain the effect, you can subsequently have a separate treatment performed every six months. The price for one session is on average 350 euros.
Last updated: November 2023
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